Americans say immigration is top problem in U.S.
The 22% of Americans in July who say immigration is the top problem is up from 14% in June and is the highest percentage naming that issue in Gallup's history of asking the "most important problem" question. The previous high had been 19%.
Mentions of immigration as the nation's most important problem have averaged 5% over the 17 years Gallup has been asking the question on a monthly basis.
When Americans' naming of immigration as the top problem has exceeded that average by a significant margin, it has reflected real-world events, political attention being paid to the topic, fluctuating salience of other issues and news coverage.
Immigration reached 19% of mentions as the top problem facing the nation in April 2006, as Congress was wrestling with the effort to pass a comprehensive immigration bill and as immigration protests in cities across the country dominated news coverage.
Citations of immigration as the top problem rose again in the summer of 2014, as news attention focused on large numbers of immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. from Central America. ■